City of Visalia ready for first rain of season

You can help prevent any flooding problems by cleaning up trash or debris in your yard or on your street.
VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Rain is on the way for the South Valley.

And Peter Weber feels pretty good about that.

"(The) kids might not have soccer tomorrow but it will be a welcome sight for the rain to be coming and hopefully it can clear out the air and hopefully help with the fires too," he said.

Visalia public works crews have already completed the most important prep work for the rainy season.

To make sure water flows where it should, they've cleaned out creeks and culverts that run through the city and cleared out storm drains using vacuum trucks.

Sucking leaves and debris out of drains in the downtown area was a little more challenging this year.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining, many restaurants have set up dining in the street.

"We had to work with the Downtown Visalians and the restaurant owners to move their tents and move all of their dining room sets so we can get in there, clean out the catch basins, and then let them come back and facilitate their dining experience," said Visalia Public Works Director Nick Macia.

The city has also been cleaning out its storm basins.

Crews were working on one nicknamed the Goshen Ocean on Friday.

Another basin nearby had already been fully prepped, ready to store water from winter storms.

"We go in there and use these three-foot long, five-foot long metal rakes that just go through and rip the bottom, so that you can allow the water to percolate through," Macia said. "What it does is it disturbs the clay layer that builds up from all the compaction and sitting and waiting."

Macia says the city is ready to respond to any flooding that may happen this weekend.

But he adds that you can help prevent any problems by cleaning up trash or debris in your yard or on your street.

Peter Weber also has some advice ahead of the wet weekend - take it slow on the road.

"I think everyone kind of forgets about what happens when it first starts raining," Weber said. "People gotta slow down. The roads get slick, you get trees that fall down, debris in the roadway."

The city of Visalia is providing free sand and sand bags to residents at 335 North Cain Street.

If you see downed trees or tree limbs, call Visalia Police's non-emergency line at 559-734-8117.
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